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Mishcon de Reya advises HutanBio on securing investment from UKI2S

Posted on 26 June 2024

Mishcon de Reya has advised HutanBio, a biotechnology company focused on developing sustainable biofuels, during its recent £3 million seed funding round. The round saw the UK Innovation and Science Seed Fund (UKI2S) join the lead investor, Clean Growth Fund, in backing HutanBio's innovative approach to tackling climate change through advanced biology.

HutanBio's HBx Biofuel is a 'Drop In' low carbon fuel solution aimed at decarbonising long-distance transportation, particularly in the Maritime and Aviation sectors. The investment from UKI2S, managed by Future Planet Capital (Ventures) Limited, reflects the growing interest in technologies that support the transition to NetZero emissions.

The investment round, which included participation from Mishcon de Reya, will enable HutanBio to continue the development of its HBx biofuel platform, which has been developed to thrive in high salinity conditions and is grown in enclosed photobioreactors on non-arable land. This approach avoids the use of prime agricultural land and reduces deforestation incentives.

Adam Bradley, Partner in the Corporate team at Mishcon de Reya, who led the Mishcon team on the deal, commented: "It's rewarding to provide legal advice to companies like HutanBio, which are at the forefront of developing technologies that have the potential to make a significant environmental impact. We are pleased to have supported HutanBio through this funding round and look forward to seeing the positive changes their work will bring."

Oliver Sexton, Investment Director at UKI2S, stated: “UKI2S is committed to investing in technologies that have a significant positive environmental impact. HutanBio's innovative use of biology for low carbon fuel production aligns perfectly with our vision. We believe in its mission to make sustainable fuels and are excited to support its efforts in the battle against climate change."

Paul Beastall, CEO of HutanBio, said: "We are delighted to have secured funding from UK12S. This investment is not just a financial boost, but a strong vote of confidence in our mission to harness advanced biology to produce low carbon fuels. Bolstered by this additional investment, we can accelerate our strategic growth plans and bring our innovative solutions to market quicker."

Dr Jonathan Tudor, Investment Partner at Clean Growth Fund, added: “We're really pleased to see UKI2S joining the round as HutanBio makes great strides, including growing its team of experts. The positive impact that HBx can have on today and tomorrow’s world is important. After over a decade of research and development, and with the maritime fuels market committing to stopping the use of fossil fuels by 2050, HutanBio has the potential to be a major disruptor in the fuel supply market and could make a huge contribution to the decarbonisation of transport and the hard-to-abate heavy industries.”

About HutanBio

HutanBio aims to disrupt the biofuel industry; scaling up their HBx program to make carbon-negative biofuels to meet the challenge of transitioning to net zero in the marine and heavy transport sectors. Founded by John Archer PhD, Noor Azlin Mokhtar PhD and Suhaiza Jamhor in 2019, world class scientists with expertise in Microbial Genetics and Genomics.

About Clean Growth Fund

CGF was launched in May 2020. It is a £101 million venture capital fund that is targeting the UK’s most promising early stage “clean growth” companies that are pioneering carbon emission reductions in the areas of power and energy, buildings, transport, agriculture and waste. Its remit is to drive superior financial returns for investors and accelerate the development and commercialisation of clean growth technologies in the UK – leading to the creation of new and skilled jobs across the country and contributing to the UK’s efforts to deliver net zero by 2050. To date, it has invested in 19 UK companies.

About UKI2S

UKI2S is a national seed investment fund that nurtures innovative businesses to leverage private investment and scale, recycling profits from the realisation of our investments into the next generation of impactful UK companies. We invest in innovations emerging from the UK’s publicly funded science and knowledge base at pre-seed and seed stages. They continue to leverage private capital by backing the best companies at Series A and B. They are mission driven and naturally align with key Government policies to drive impact through the creation of jobs in the UK, facilitate further investment by the private sector, and by backing companies that facilitate sustainable growth, enhance the health and security of society, improve productivity, and deliver economic gains.

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